Despite an ahead-of-schedule, non-student worker minimum wage increase to $17 per hour in response to national labor shortage, the College continues to suffer staffing shortages. Dining Services Interim Director Ken Cardone estimates that his department has around twenty to twenty-five open “casual positions,” defined by the College as non-student employees that work fewer than twenty hours per week.
Dining Services announced this week its plan to raise the starting wage of student employees to $14.25 per hour in response to the nationwide labor shortage that has led to a staffing deficiency across many of the College’s departments.
The College will raise the minimum wage for all hourly workers by $1.50—from $15.50 to $17.00 per hour—on Monday, September 6. This raise comes ten months ahead of Bowdoin’s 3-year plan, which had anticipated this wage increase by July, 2022.
Serving students in-person or, temporarily, through take-out, Dining Services is readjusting to accomodating a full-capacity campus for the first time in a year and a half. But as the number of people lining up for meals every day has risen, the number of dining employees has lagged behind.
Yesterday, Moulton Union re-opened for lunch for the first time since closing last week after six positive COVID-19 cases emerged among the dining hall’s staff beginning April 6. After the initial case, the College began administering rapid antigen tests to Moulton employees, which led to the identification of four more positive cases.
When Emma Hargreaves ’23 was hired as a server at Thorne Hall in February, she anticipated regular hours and a steady income. “I wanted to do two or three shifts a week,” she said in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Laila McCain ’21 is accustomed to working 18 to 20 hours per week. She gives tours and hosts information sessions for the Office of Admissions, works in the Center for Cocurricular Opportunities and is employed by the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) as a Residential Advisor in Chamberlain Hall.
In an effort to stay in line with Maine’s increasing minimum wage, the College has raised the student minimum wage for the second year in a row. All student employees will now earn at least $10 per hour, up from $9 last year.